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I would take a lower risk 8% return over a high risk 12% return any day....life is too short as it is in worrying over volatility in equities..

I don't necessarily agree/understand. Are you talking risk or volatility?

IMHO

Risk = Chance you will lose money.
Volatility = Fluctuating returns, both positive and negative.

Over periods of 10 years or more, index funds have very low risk, though they still have volatility. OTOH, if you pick a specific date in the near future, there is a good chance that your return is negative.

Yes, if the investor is going to get cold feet at the first sign of a downturn, equities is not the place for them. OTOH, I've been nearly 100% in equities since I started my 401k in 1989. My overall return is over 9% including the bad years in the early part of this decade.

How would bonds/CDs help me?

-murray
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